The strange jellyfish discovered on April 24 by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has highlighted how little is known about the deepest parts of the ocean. The animal was referred as the hydromedusa and belonged to the genus Crossota, a classification of jellyfish that spent their entire lives gliding through the water, the report said.

The creature was captured on video as it appeared about two miles below the surface of the sea by the Okeanos Explorer, a NOAA ship that discharges remotely operated vehicles into deep waters, and uses a hull-mounted, multibeam sonar to explore and map the sea, as reported by the Christian Science Monitor.

According to researchers, the bright-yellow “lights” inside the jellyfish are likely gonads. Credit: Discovery News

But the most outstanding finding for the researchers from the institution is the fact that this is evidence of the lack of exploration among the ocean, and that much more is needed to expand research and to gather more information. The team is actually on a three-year mission to explore US marine protected areas in the central and western Pacific.

“The deep seafloor of the Pacific Ocean is one of the most poorly explored regions on Earth with very little known about the benthic animals that live beyond 3,000 feet in the Prime Crust Zone,” the NOAA said.

Even though the oceans represent nearly 70 percent of the territory on Earth, 95 percent of it is still unexplored, which means that only five percent of it has been seen by humans eyes, the NOAA stated. The latest expeditions have been presented as an effort by the organization to approach the unknown.

Encouraging scientists

Besides the efforts from the NOAA, organizations like the X Prize Foundation, a promoter of technological innovations, has offered a $7 million prize to the team that can produce robots that will map the seafloor and to those that can detect life in the deepest reaches of the sea during the three-year challenge.

Such innovations can expand the explored territories in the deepest parts of the ocean, and also, help researchers to not experience the extreme circumstances that can come with the ocean exploration missions.

In fact, for every 33 feet a person goes down, the pressure increases by 14.5 psi. In the deepest ocean, the pressure is equivalent to the weight of an elephant balanced on a postage stamp, or the equivalent of one person trying to support 50 jumbo jets.

Source: NOAA